Mar 8, 2017 | By David
Artec 3D’s innovations in the 3D technology world have been reported on regularly throughout the last few years, so it’s no big surprise that it has broken new ground yet again, this time with the industry’s first completely autonomous 3D scanner. The Palo Alto-based company today unveiled the new Artec Leo, a handheld 3D scanning device that is capable of automatically processing the data it captures into 3D images internally, without the need to connect to an external computer or tablet.
The Artec Leo’s unique ability to render its own 3D models onboard is a logical progression from the Autopilot feature in the Artec Studio 11 software, released last year. This "smart" mode allowed a 3D scan to be converted into a 3D image much more easily by automatically choosing from a wide range of settings and post-processing steps, based on some basic information provided by the user about the type of object scanned and the environment it was in.
These same AI algorithms will now allow users of the Artec Leo to create a virtual 3D image of their scanned object in the scanner itself. The device has an HD screen, which allows the automatic rendering of this full-color, high-quality image to be viewed in real time.
According to Artyom Yukhin, president and CEO of Artec 3D, Artec’s goal '‘is to make professional 3D scanning as easy as shooting video for any industry and the Artec Leo is the next big step in achieving that goal." The onboard automatic rendering, which is enabled by the internal NVIDIA Jetson platform running on a powerful Quad-core ARM processor, is just one of several features that makes the Artec Leo one of the most usable and accessible 3D scanners on the market.
The Leo 3D scanner is a handheld device with a custom-engineered, ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to hold. It has a built-in 256 GB SSD drive that can be supplemented with micro SD cards, and its long-life battery can be supplemented with purchasable extra modules. The scanner also features wireless network connectivity and data transfer, as well as touch-screen functionality.
What this all adds up is a completely self-contained device that doesn't rely on connections to a mains power supply or a computer. This allows for practically unlimited scanning in any situation, whether in the field or in a laboratory. Large objects or complex environments can be scanned with ease due to the large field of view and the 80FPS 3D reconstruction rate, which is currently the fastest on the market for a handheld scanner. The Artec Leo is also ideal for capturing fine details from up close, which it can do with a 3D resolution of up to 0.25 mm and a 3D point accuracy of up to 0.1mm.
Adding to its repertoire of smart features, the Artec Leo has a 9 DoF (degrees of freedom) inertial system. What this means is that it can gather precise information about its orientation and position within its environment, and use this to differentiate between different features—horizontal and vertical surfaces, for example. This understanding allows it to process the object being scanned, the surface it is on, and the wall behind it, each as separate entities, and it can therefore erase any superfluous data it captures.
Highly advanced texture-to-geometry mapping is provided by the Artec Leo’s unique optical system, which combines the color camera and the 3D camera through the same lens. VCSEL light technology allows difficult textures, such as skin, and difficult light conditions, such as bright outdoor environments, to be handled with ease. The intensity of the flash can also be regulated to capture color resolution up to an impressive 2.3 MP.
With the Artec Leo, the formerly complex process of 3D scanning might now be as simple as digital photography. Not only is the scanner more than adequate for hobbyists and 3D novices, its processing power, accuracy, and integration with other devices could make it suitable for a broad range of professional applications. Additionally, the 3D scanner's head can be easily mounted to a robotic arm or a conveyor system for automated 3D scanning processes, and its real time rendering can be streamed to multiple external screens, making it suitable for collaborative work. Regardless of how it is used, Artec’s new 3D scanner could take the industry by storm.
Posted in 3D Scanning
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